tv [untitled] October 10, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT
very limited scope and that the definition cites conduct that is job related. based on the findings of fact established by the ethics commission i don't see how we as a legislative body can sustain the charge of official misconduct. furthermore it was not proven with a level of certainty that the actions were related to the position of sheriff, or the power of the office. i only have a few more points. i want to put it all on the record. selective prosecution, i also am concerned that sustaining the charges may lead us in the wrong direction in terms of principles. case by case basis for application of this section of the charter suggests there is room for selective prosecution. we must ensure actions taken by the board in no way infringe by the responsibilities of this chart and city and county. there must be a standard by which a mayor is required to
initiate official misconduct charges, a standard that applies to all officials equally. by increasing this specificity with which this statute is applied, the board ensures that fairness outweighs politics. we must apply this section with pinpointed accuracy so as to preserve integrity with which it was adopted. restorative justice contrary to comments made by -- in the hearing i believe even an elected position such as sheriff the conflict of restorative justice does apply. where we have learned from this experience is that in san francisco, neither the sheriff, supervisor, or any elected official is above the the law. however, what we also have the opportunity to demonstrate is that serving in one of these positions does not deem a person unworthy of redemption. to declare public officials don't deserve second chances
goes against we are as a city. personal conduct from the previous mayor on do unto civil servants. we have been open minded by allowing people with criminal records to reengage with society responsibly and be accountable for their actions. whether a public official or a public servant, a member of the board or a member of the public, we all deserve the opportunity to bring about positive changes. finally, sheriff mirkarimi made an egregious mistake, one that has had serious personal professional and legal consequences. his actions were un undeniably wrong and has taken treatments toward court mandated resolution. however based on instructions provided to my by voters of san francisco through the charter i cannot find that his actions were executed through his authority as a public official and i will not be supporting the motion to sustain
the charges. >> president chiu: supervisor mar. >> supervisor mar: thank you. i wanted to first thank ross mirkarimi and eliana for the ordeal you've been through. i want to thank friends in the room and others that i don't know. thank you for your heart-felt testimony. i wanted to thank the legal teams for the great presentations. i think you laid out the issues before us, and colleagues, i think the question facing us is at once both straightforward but also highly emotional so i'm extremely emotional right now. we must either adopt or reject the agents commission's recommendation and thanks to president ben hur as well but we must either adopt or reject the
religious that by pleading guilty to an act of domestic violence and put on plo baition ross has created official misconduct that requires removal from his office as sheriff. i think there are forces on both sides and it's a very polarized room this evening who would like us to make our decision into ross mirkarimi versus ed lee or between progressives versus moderates. but i think we owe it to ourselves and the people of san francisco to treat it as a choice between right and wrong but the hard thing is what do the right thing means. but i want to do the right thing, and base right or wrong according to what the law demands and what the evidence demonstrates. i believe that the ethics commission's recommendation is correct on its face. it's not possible for a top law enforcement official to effectively discharge the duties
of his office while he remains under the supervision of the criminal justice system. his sheriff is undergoing a mandatory 52 long week program for batterers and serving three years probation. because of this i don't believe the public would have faith that he could effectively serve as sheriff. that part is straightforward to me. what is extremely emobile to me is ross mirkarimi is our colleague and friend to some of us, that his family has suffered most of all from his incident and his family requires healing. i have tremendous empathy for ross and his family, ross, eliana and their family and want to see them heal and see nothing but happiness for them but my feelings for them must not override high commitment to zero tolerance policy of domestic violence and the only path forward is to recognize how
serious a crime it is and what an abuse of power it is. i speak from my own personal experience as well. people shared tonight. my late grandmother was a victim of domestic violence 12@ei the scars were not only physical bruises on!shfñ her arms but emotional scars that have lasted across generations for me and my family and the damage that silence perpetrates upon its victims. i wanted to thank the commission on status of women and domestic violence consortium and the victims that have spoke up. as an activist against violence i must honor my grandmother's history. it cannot be silenced in the face of the crime. i don't believe it's right to allow someone with an admitted record of domestic violence to serve as chair. it sends the wrong message to victims of domestic violence.
so i cast my vote today in favor of the ethics commission recommendation not only in keeping with the city's charter and in fully weighing all of the evident andc÷cuz testimony but in service of the judge justice in that it will help combat domestic violence throughout our community. thank you. >> president chiu: supervisor campos. >> supervisor campos: thank you mr. president. i would like to thank all of the parties and their counsel for their presentations. but more importantly i want to thank members of the public who have come out to provide public comment tonight. and not only for the public comment that was presented tonight but the public comment that has been presented through the last fewnhcm months, is many people have come to our meetings to provide their opinion about this very important issue, as well as the hundreds of e-mails that we have received. i think it's fair to say that i don't know of anyone in this room who is happy to be here tonight. the fact that we are
tragic. and one of the things that i hope for this cityx;3] looking at the interaction of some of the members of the public and the very clear divide that exists on this what happens and i don't know what will happen after this proceeding, that we as a city, regardless of how we feel about this case, regardless of what side that we are, that we make a commitment to come together as a city. i think it was one of the speakers who talked$ú)70 about how painful it is for those of us who have a certain political view, progressive ideology to see the divide between the nz xrogressive community and some of the domestic violence advocates. i hope that there is opportunity and willingness on both sides to have a conversation about why we+d!zn are here, because what i have seen is that i have seen very good
people, on both sides who have legitimate viewpoints on this issue. and i think that it's important for us to! of the other side's perspective. i also wantsw@. to especially acknowledge the domestic violence advocates who have come and totx+a speak here, because at times it wasn't necessarily thef[p6 friendliest crowd. and i really hope that we get to a point where that is no longer the case. let me say that i don't believe in the vilification of one individual nor do i believe in the sankification of one individual. the fact is that people are av lot more complicated. and one of the hardest things for me, in playing]éóáthe role that the chart has given me as an elected member of the board of?>kú supervisors, is that i speak to you as someone who[ey imperfect, as a human being who has made
manys oq- 9ñ but i really believe in my own experience and the experience of other people that the true testvzmv of character in a human being is not the absence of mistakes, but the ability to; :b recognize them, thefh where you're wrong and having the courage to take 44c]sponsibility. so before i talk about the substance of the issue before us, i do want to make a couple of points that i think are i don't know that.v this to come across this way was there, but i'llj.uz you that i have been disturbed that in the comments that we have heard from some9á÷ mirkarimi today, whether intended or not, there has been this impression of tryingmou# to
minimize the severity of what happened. and i don't think that's fair to the sheriff, to]t0 u wife, or to the issue of domestic-tb&ñ violence. i don't believe that we should do anythingñ&xç to minimize how serious this was. in the words of the4o#&k president of the ethics commission this was egregious en. let's be clear. there is simply no justification%i+n for anyone grabbing another human being's arm and bruising that$uujy there is no justification for any human being to''wq engage in conduct that is, you know, even perceived tozz0t÷ be false imprisonment. there is simply no justification forwirñ that. and i did- 0c not appreciate some of the comments that this was not a
violent act. i don't know thatw! the speaker was to minimize it, but i don't think in añx>av that it came across the right way. i also want to be very clear5ok about domestic violence. domestic violence is a very serious matter,5v%[ and i've had people in my own family who have been victims of domestic8ñ violence. domestic violence is not a private mattern n/ domestic violence is something that affects us all. and/ people from across all&vó!p backgrounds, all ethnic backgrounds, racial'v' socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender'?rh÷ identity, domestic violence affects us all. the fact is that there arezdv9ç cases when even strong successful people strong successful women[ú÷x and men have been victims of
suspicion of domestic violence to come forward and reporto÷ll that. and i think that there is a danger in the way that some of these discussions ha:m place, that that wrong message is beingerñ sent. i also want to say this, and i say this as0? with sheriff mirkarimi while he was on the board of supervisors. but as someone who again is imperfect but believes in takingñq responsibility. at the end of the day, theyjç ultimate responsibility of how we got to this point goes back to what ha(@dt" that night. and that ultimate responsibility i think we have to be very clear aboutñpyxw that. i also want toéqi say that we have an obligation i think, as a city, to makeyp
this proceeding is over, that regardless of whatggfqg side of this issue we're on, that we rededicate ourselves to make y/ that we educate the public about this very important issue. i think weúi to make sure thatjp(pens. and so where does that leave us. let me say that i am thankful to the ethics commission for the -- all the wod÷op that has gone into this issue. but the reality is that the role of[kx this board of supervisors is limited. we do not decide thisgrm8w case based on what has been reported in the papers based onzo0eñ the innuendo and comments that have been made. we decide this casee24ne based on the law that governance official misconduct, including. the charter provisions that control it, and based on theam1sidence
scrutiny. california courts have made it clear that if:= the interpretation is vague, the the law will be found to bex and i want to specifically mention some of the pointspp3z that have been made by president hur of the ethics) >uááájuárjy and i want to thank president hur because it's not easy to be in thew but i think that he is right when he said the following, andó3)5ñ i quote, i think if we don't find a nexus to the relation o the duties, then we are opening this provision up to abuselqhp and manipulation down the road in a way that we're not really going tojsañ like. i mean i have grave concern about what the next case looks like, unless we interpret this in a way that i think the voters intended, and alson3÷l3 that is narrow and understandable for electedz4óup officials.
i also think that president hur was the benefits of a bright line rule, and of pma the importance of clarity in this case. i think that he was right whenqq=÷ he said, i think we're going to do future, this mayors and elected officials, a service, if7? we interpret this in a way that is clear. and i have a lot of concerówsi about where you draw the line if you don't relate this to thelb duties. and in talking to the issue of what the relation to$k means, i also believe that president hur was correct when he said theí0oñ following. in relation to the duties means whi7)[iq you're performing your duties or purporting to perform your dutiesóx4ko sort of acting under color of law. i think he isñ correct in that
interpretation. a couple of other points0adcri think are also important to be made. and that has to i1v do with what i said earijly the reading of the chartersu provision means that there has to be a direct connection to theexgv3 duties underlying the office does not mean that the conduct is notödl wrongful. to the contrary. as president hur said, thisft is egregious conduct. but the way that this charter egregious conduct,cgdsu as currently written, does not fall within the definition of officialsz0vu misconduct. and then the last point that i want to say, which i think is important, that was made by 8m
president hur, is that when it comes to the conduct ofxés(y elected officials, this is but one of the tools that are in place to protect theññíiñ public. as president hur noted, you have theanwo criminal process, the criminal justice system that has a way of dealing with any kind>ryxñ of criminality that is conducted. there is also the disciplinary)wjok process that individual agencies have within the the city and county ofr and finally there is the recall process so that if there is wrongf9r: conduct that does not fall within the definition of official misconduct, the voters themselves whether or not that wrongful conductóukqu(ááp'ts removal. in the end, what drives me to?$f this conclusion is that i believe that there is a danger in+j some of the analysis that we saw. and i appreciate the effort by the city
provide some clarity. but i don't think that the discussionzi< actually made me feel any better. to the extent that as the attorney noted, this'tvd is a nimble standard, i don't know the difference between nimble be and vague. in fact, i think legally, they might very well betú and so i believe that we must interpret this provision[-7:b narrowly, or open the door -- open the doorc.cz abuse. and so i will be voting againstúg sustaining the charges. thanks%c÷. >> president chiu: supervisor >> supervisor avalos:' k,thank you president chiu. i want to thank members of-t)]o the public for your testimony tonight, and in1c previous months.
and that's actually testimony from all sides. this is a room wherema[ spoke on both sides, that i feel close to. and so it's been troubling night. and hearing stories of people's own experiences of&x more difficult to consider these issues before us today. i want to thank the ethics their countless hours of deliberation. i want to thankuj the lawyers on all sides of the issue, as well.a also, i want to thank and express my empathy with:0h&z ross and eliana and their family and theo. been through a]/f lot. ié+ in a city where we take domestic93
who8t]cñ has almost epic accomplishments in public safety in communityoek development, in working with community members. and i've always seen roçq3 as someone who has deep flawsw;fj and is tragic in that way and i hold him responsible for thev!ii incidents of what appear to be domestic violence in his home on decemberm i hold him responsible and i'm actually -- i'm veryzç disturbed by the reports of what have happened, and possibly some things that are2 i also feel that people mistakes, and that when you havelufc experienced what ross mirkarimi and his family have experienced over the pastkkk8 many months, that it offers a chance for personaln< transformation and a chance to really remake your life.
and i tx that ross mirkarimi needs to do. and i'm hoping that? experience has led to rossigsdgk of his own humility with a sense of)>'1ñ own responsibility to his constituents, his family, people who like himv/67s and dislike him. he's a public figure, and he needs to be held to5sblñ a very, very high standard as a public figure. i believe that
4k6 juá )jr(t let him partly, you know, that way, thiscc ñ far. and another consideration to weigh in, you know onywky this measure. whether the mayor has the ability to removegv mirkarimi or another public official for official misconduct, whetherg! what we have before us is an actual act of officialuáb) misconduct. i have my doubts, and i will probably vote accordingly.pfp whether there's actually due process of the mayor to remove adur5ñ democratically elected official in san frí
is compassionate to be. i also want to make sure that weç@n9z are really cognizant of what we need to do to strengthen our efforts aroundv-qc domestic violence. we've only come so far over a number of years and there's much more tooi i worry that this case has actually set us back because of the tensions thatçs are around how we've responded, both from people who are supporting ross to stay in hisõgy office, and from domestic violence community. i hope we can bridge thatnk÷tt and get back together to figure out how to move the city forward to be more.yr responsive to people who are facing domestic violence. i want to thank members ofc4>? the domestic violence community here,oqoñ people in the mierntd and recognize the great courage it's taken to come and give testimony tonight. my wife's bestb7+ig friend's mother is here with the dom efg violence community.
i love her dearly and it'syy$81q)y difficult to be on the opposite side of issues but i think i?qñ on the opposite side of issues on thisóñ"çç case. i want to think about the faith that we put --2eúñ the public puts in public officials and the city law, and city law enforcement. we need toíy and balances in city government and how we're upholding the will of the voters. i think it goes without saying that no one here condones any form of domestp whether it is physical verbal or psychological abuse and all could havet )ñ been in play tonight. i'm proud as a city we have8ep )tátdomestic violence and what we can domestic violence in the future. ash£&ic officials we are expected to be models of good behavior and lawful behaviory,çgx while everyone knows none of us are perfect.
there was reasonable expectation of greateroqt&3 scrutiny of public officials in our private practices. but this vote is not about affirming thatñh$ what -- is not about affirming that we abhor all forms of domestic violence or;@6u )jt moral standards for elected officials. what we are here to decide is whether or not sheriff is guilty of official misconduct and thus8qoñ removal from offers. while the agents -- the commission > jf÷ñ 4-1 for the board to uphold the sheriff's removal on the bas5 he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor and false imprisonment. the arguments fors8 compelling on an emotional level. i've been reading this material and myñéósí emotional reaction is repulsion and disturbance. i find xjzdk lot of arguments are convoluted and questionable from a legal point of view an@%hw policy level and that's disturbing to me that we can make a decision about how toct/u could be